BUCKLAND UP FOR REES REMATCH

Gary Buckland (28-3, 9KO) has told BoxingWales that he is “100%” up for a rematch with fellow Welshman Gavin Rees (37-4-1, 18KO) after winning their Fight of the Year candidate earlier this month. They produced one of the best all-Welsh fights ever at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and Buckland was on the right side of a Split Decision with just one point separating them on the deciding scorecard.

Image by Lawrence Lustig

The 27-year-old is willing to go through it all again, he said, “I’m definitely interested in a rematch, 100%. As long as they sort the deal, money talks and if they give me the right offer then I’m definitely up for it, 100%. “Gavin is a genuinely nice guy and we’re good friends. It’s only a sport at the end of the day. We are in there to fight, we were both in the same shoes and I’d do it again.” Both Buckland and Rees, a former world champion, brought the best out of each other and the momentum seemed to swing almost every round. There was hardly anything between the boxers at the end of their all action contest. Reflecting, Buckland said, “I thought one of us was going to box and one of us was going to pressure. When I looked back at the fight, I think we tried to do that sometimes but we couldn’t stick to it and we both got dragged in to a war. They’re the fights fighters want to be in. “I wanted to try and confuse him by boxing on the back foot a little bit because he was expecting me to come forward all fight. I think it worked sometimes but like I said, we just ended up going toe-to-toe which I liked anyway.” There were battle scars suffered on both sides. At the end of the fight Rees’ right eye was badly swollen and in the opening round Buckland suffered a deep cut over his left eye that’s still healing now. Recalling the clash, he said, “I thought it was a clash of heads but the referee called it a punch. At first, I thought at least if it does get stopped before four rounds then at least it’ll be a draw and I wouldn’t have lost. “When they said it was a punch that done it, I knew I’d lose if it got stopped. Billy Reynolds done a good job on it in the corner, I was happy with his work. After that it didn’t bother me at all and it actually spurred me on then.” In August, Buckland fought in his home city of Cardiff for the first time. The St Joseph’s Gym boxer was defending his British super-featherweight title for the third time and victory would have seen him own the Lonsdale belt forever. However, Buckland was knocked out cold in arguably the worst night of his career. He then moved up in weight to face Rees in a make or break fight and he’s happy to put the past where it belongs. He said, “I even said before the fight with Gavin, all that is in the past. I know I wasn’t right mentally or physically for the Stephen Smith fight. “I just wanted to put all that behind me, I’m glad I got the win to move on with my career. There’s a lot more to come from me in boxing.”

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